‘450,000 Ghanaians living with diabetes

Alex-SegbefiaReports released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), has revealed that a total of 450,000 Ghanaians are living with diabetes as at the end of 2014.

The report indicated that, 330,000 of the figure, representing 75 per cent of the cases, remained undiagnosed, posing an increased danger of complications for people living with diabetes but unaware.

It also estimated that the number was likely to reach 820,000 by the year 2035, due to the ageing and expanding population, with diabetes accounting for 8.6 per cent of deaths from all causes in adults.

Diabetes is high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) also called high blood sugar.

Mr Samuel Kofi Tovor, the Project Manager of Novo Nordisk’s “Base of Pyramid Project” in Ghana made this known at a short ceremony to commission the first diabetes support centre by the “Base of Pyramid Project” at Breman Asikuma, in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District of the Central Region.

The establishment of the centre, through a public private partnership deal between Novo Nordisk, one of the world’s leading diabetes companies, Palb Pharmaceuticals, National Catholic Secretariat and Our Lady of Grace Hospital at Breman Asikuma.

He said the Our Lady of Grace Hospital at Breman Asikuma was the second Catholic health institution in the country to have benefited from the “Base of Pyramid” project after the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw.

Mr Tovor noted that diabetes had gradually become one of the chronic diseases that posed a great threat to the health of the people in the country, but hoped that the new support centre would increase awareness, diagnose early and improve the treatment for people with the disease.

Mr Andrews Bawuah of Palb Pharmaceuticals, encouraged diabetic patients to embark on self-monitoring of blood glucose as it was a very key element of diabetes management and added that it would also help prevent hypoglycemia, a condition where the patient suffers deficiency of glucose in the blood stream.

He pledged Palb Pharmaceutical’s support to provide the diabetes support centre with quality and user friendly, one touch test strips and glucometers, at a very cheaper rate to enable people to self-manage diabetes.

Mr George Adjei, the Director, National Catholic Health Service, observed that the increase in population over the years had not been matched with an available health services to tackle the diseases that affected the people especially children and women.

He called on the government to institute plans to bring health services to every community as a matter of rights.

He said the establishment of the diabetes support centre would be a boost to Our Lady of Grace Hospital, which already served as a district and a referral hospital, managing some complicated cases that could not be handled by health service facilities in and around the district.

He expressed the National Catholic Health Service’s appreciation to Novo Nordisk and Palb Pharmaceuticals and called on other cooperate institutions to emulate their kind gesture and promised that the edifice would be put to good use.

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